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Student’s heart is in medical research

A look at Tudor Cisu’s research résumé suggests that of an  upperclassman: lab work at Binghamton, Syracuse and Upstate Medical universities and a summer volunteering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

But Cisu is a freshman who knows he wants to be a physician scientist.

“I don’t just want to practice medicine,” said Cisu, a 19-year-old who will be a double major in math and biochemistry. “I want to advance health care in whatever possible way.”

Cisu was born in Romania and moved to the Syracuse area in 1998. As a high school junior, Cisu asked a biophysics professor at Syracuse University if he could help with research. Cisu moved on to a spinal-cord injury lab at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, where he was part of a team that has a publication under review with the Journal of Neurotrauma. Finally, Cisu spent last summer shadowing one of the nation’s most prominent neurosurgeons, Dr. Keith Black, at Cedars-Sinai.

Then it was time to go to Binghamton.

Cisu joined Jacques Beaumont’s cardiac modeling lab. The research team has had a great impact on Cisu: He has applied for the American Heart Association’s Undergraduate Student Summer Fellowship and hopes to analyze a protein that is overexposed in heart failure.

“I’m preferring the heart over the brain, partly because cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer,” he said. “I feel it’s my responsibility to be involved in the development of treatments in the near future.”

Beaumont, associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Bioengineering, has been impressed, calling Cisu “a rising star.”

“We can expect great accomplishments from this young man,” he said.

Cisu can already solve the Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds and hopes to start a campus club for competition and instruction. He was even aware of Binghamton’s own cube master, Professor Jessica Fridrich, before he stepped on campus.

“I’m kind of intimidated to talk to her because she’s such a big deal in the Rubik’s Cube world,” Cisu admitted.

Despite being ahead of his time, Cisu is in no rush to graduate early.

“I want to establish myself here and get as many research opportunities and publications to build my résumé  for MD/PhD programs,” he said. “I want to mature and grow as a person. I just want to live the college experience.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08